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Islam is against coercion

Islam is against coercion

“There is no compulsion at all in Din (Religion).” (2:256)

This is the basic Islamic principle upon which the idea of non-compulsion is built, guaranteeing religious freedom for all non-Muslims, means, it does not force the people to convert to Islam, although it invites the people to accept Islam willingly.

“Your Lord willed, all those who are in the earth – everyone of them – would have their own faith”. (10:99)

The Quran makes it quite clear that Almighty Allah’s will is not to force anyone to accept his religion.

Indeed, verse 2:256 was revealed in the Madani period, when the Muslims had attained political ascendance and were in a position of strength and not weakness, besides directing that Muslims should not force another’s heart to believe. The famous theologians/scholars had approved this interpretation and one of them Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi writes: “It is not permitted to force a non-Muslim to accept Islam. Such a person would not even be considered a Muslim until it is confirmed that he accepted the Islamic faith by his own free choice.” The revelation clearly guides that it is now up to the will of people to choose the one or the other path/belief and the compulsion should not be binding on the convert. In an instance when Hadhrat Umar invited an old Christian woman to accept Islam, she said in reply: “I am an old woman nearing death.” Hearing this, Hadhrat Umar did not force her to come into the fold of Islam reciting: “There is no compulsion in Din (Religion)” (Al-Nahhas “al-Nasikh wal Mansukh”), implies that Islamic faith is not related to outward physical response, but rather it relates to the heart. (Tafsir al-Qurtubi). The same message of non-compulsion in Islam is also mentioned in these two verses (73:19 and 76:29) in which Allah Almighty says, “This is indeed an advice; so whoever wishes may take the path towards his Lord.” Moreover, forced belief is not sincere/true belief.

From above, it is clear that Islam ratifies a multi-faith society with peace, harmony and mutual tolerance in its core.

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